MACUA Stands in Solidarity With Bakwena Ba Magopa Community in Reclaiming Their Rights at Glencore’s Rhovan Vanadium Mine
The Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) firmly stands in solidarity with the Bakwena Ba Mogopa community in their efforts to reclaim their rights at Glencore’s Rhovan Vanadium Mine in Brits, North-West province.
On 29 April, the Ba Mogopa community embarked on a strike to demand for the employment for the youth, lack of representation of the community at a strategic management level, local economic development, infrastructural development, among others.
The community is also fighting to have access to the Bakwena Ba Mogopa Trust controlled by the traditional leadership, which has tried to persuade the community to open a new trust account. The community has refused this request until a financial audited report is conducted from the existing account. As a recourse, the community requested Glencore to provide all the proof of payments to the trust account, however, Glencore is too arrogant and has refused to honour the masses’ request.
The Ba Mogopa community also calls on Glencore to account on its failure to consult and develop a Social and Labour Plan (SLP) for the Bakwena Ba Mogopa community and ensure transparency in their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) policy to foster community development effectively. For two years, Glencore has failed to provide an SLP. The community questions how DMRE approved Glencore’s mining license in absence of an SLP.
We are concerned about the growing tendency of traditional leaders to misuse community resources and in other instances conspire with mining companies, where they sign deals that do not help the mining-affected communities.
In light of the community’s dissatisfaction with the traditional leader whose reputation is mired with allegations and a history of misappropriating community resources, the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) held a private meeting on 14 May with Glencore and the traditional leadership in Hartbeespoort to discuss the community’s 26 percent stake in the mine among other issues yet excluded the concerned community in those discussions.
After the meeting, Glencore said it will hire 70 fixed-term contractors and 255 permanent jobs, but this is yet to be seen. It is worthwhile to highlight that instead of respectfully engaging with the community, Glencore instructed the community that “the agreements are subject to the Rovhan Operations being opened immediately.” These agreements took place without the community.
The community resolute, refusing to open roads until their demands for increased consultations and SLP implementation are met. As a movement organising in the mining communities, we are in support of the Ba Mogopa’s demands for fair treatment, consultation, and equitable benefits from mining activities in their area. MACUA remains committed to supporting and empowering mining-affected communities in their struggle for social justice and sustainable development.

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